Mmm, now you’ve planted an idea in my head – breakfast and bubbly here, before hitting the tube. That’s gotta be rude, surely?! [checks diary…]
Reserve your table at Valentina Book a table
75 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, London SW15 2SR
- Putney Bridge Underground Station (1.0 km)
- Putney Bridge Station (1.0 km)
- Putney Station (0.5 km)
- Contact us:
020 8877 9906
6 reviews of Valentina in English
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Comment 1 comment on this review
Bruce_D1956, 25 September 2012:
An impeccable experience from start to finish, from the moment I wandered around the comforting atmosphere of their excellently stocked deli (Italian delis get my juices flowing), to the informative and inspiring chats with Bruno Zoccola outlining his family and business history just before we left. The photos adorning the walls in the upstairs restaurant section are all pertinent to the Zoccola family history and not merely there as decor, for the record.
So, back down to the shop, deli and cafe section, which serves a fine range of coffees, on the ground floor. If you're looking for well-sourced, authentic goods then this is the place. They have De Cecco pastas, Cirio tomatoes and other prosaic basics as well as delicacies like fine honey, jams and the best pannetone that I've yet to sample, either here or in Italy. At £9.95 a pop, or two for £15, it's well worth a go. The meat section will sort you out good and properly with all your cured, cold meat and sausage and cheese needs. And if you have a penchant for Alessi kitchen items, there's a rack of them too.
Then we ambled upstairs, with me by this stage bursting with childlike excitement. The subsequent antipasti were, like everything else, flawless. I was genuinely spoilt for choice and plumped for something that no one else had ordered. (I'm selfless like that). But as soon as I clocked my Gnocchi Spacca Napoli, as something of a connoisseur now thanks to my lady wife, the quality was palpable. The roll of succulent roast beef, stuffed with parmesan and pinenuts, was a welcome bonus. Should you want to wash your lunch or dinner down with a bottle of wine from downstairs, the corkage is only £6.45 making it a nice and affordable option.
Believe it or not, it does take a fair bit to get me excited these days. However, when I am then I bore everyone to tears rabbiting on about places like this. The real conclusive proof though is that despite the location, a fair jaunt from my EC1 manor, I am already planning my return.
Five stars, without question.
Valentina, the best Italian delicatessen in south London for almost twenty years, has now opened a branch in Putney, and it's another star. The original deli added a cafe last year that serves delicious pasta, risottos and other Italian staples, but the Putney sibling is a more striking design and has a cafe area where Guipeppe and his team serve 'spuntini' - small dishes in the manner of tapas (but better and more substantial) - for £3-4 each and there is also a larger restaurant and bar upstairs. As in the Sheen cafe, there's free wi-fi.
The delicatessen is still the main event here, and it's superbly well stocked with wonderful breads, oils and pastas, but also offers cooked foods such lasagne and raviolis to take away. The spuntini menu contains delicious antipasto di mare and a frittatina - and omlette made with courgettes and onions finished with mozarella - and other delicacies.
Upstairs the bar and restaurant are decorated with photos of the owner, Bruno Zoccola's ancestors and those of his cousins, who also work in the business, a still-life with scooter and sidecar, and a flat-screen TV showing old black-and white Italian films. The selection of wines is spectacular, from the highly prized and highly priced Tuscans to more modest but still delicious chiantis and atelier wines. My favourite is the La Grola from Allegrini.
Altogether a perfect place to shop for food, relax with a plate of something or go with friends for a meal. If I'm not at home, you'll probably find me there.
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